Mayor Filner Faces Dueling Recall Efforts

San Diego's city charter allows for one recall effort every six months.

By Chris Chan, R. Stickney and Gene Cubbison
|  Wednesday, Jul 31, 2013  |  Updated 9:43 AM CDT
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The formal process of recalling San Diego's mayor from office is now gaining momentum as Bob Filner shrugs off widespread demands that he resign --under fire from numerous sexual harassment accusers.

The formal process of recalling San Diego's mayor from office is now gaining momentum as Bob Filner shrugs off widespread demands that he resign --under fire from numerous sexual harassment accusers.

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Dueling Filner Recalls May Slow Process

Activist Michael Pallamary and Publisher Stampp Corbin have both set up campaigns to recall Mayor Bob Filner. NBC 7's Chris Chan talks with one expert who suggests it may be well into 2014 before San Diegans get a chance to vote.
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San Diego Mayor Bob Filner faces not one, but two recall efforts.

Special Section: Mayor Under Fire

Filner announced Friday he would enter into a two-week behavior rehabilitation treatment following allegations of sexual harassment made public by former allies more than two weeks ago then corroborated by seven women last week.

Activist Michael Pallamary, who has been talking about launching a recall effort for more than a week, published his intent in the San Diego Union-Tribune Sunday starting the clock. He later spoke at a news conference Monday afternoon, and spoke passionately about the recall.

"We have to rid our city of this man! He is committed to destroying this city day by day, hour by hour," said Pallamary. "I'm appealing to every one of you to come forward. Do not be afraid. Do not be afraid of this man. The emperor is naked."

Read: Recall Notice of Intent

Filner has 14 days from the publication of Pallamary's notice of intent to file a response. After that, signatures can be gathered beginning Aug. 18. Any recall petitions for Pallamary's effort must be filed with the City Clerk's office by 5 p.m. Sept. 26.

More than 48 hours earlier, publisher Stampp Corbin had already advertised his intent to gather signatures for recall in the same newspaper.

While Corbin hasn’t granted NBC 7’s request for an interview, he did say he will file official paperwork Tuesday.

Pallamary also formerly asked Corbin to rescind his recall paperwork during a conference on Monday afternoon.

The two separate parties are vying for the chance to lead the way and the competition could be costly, according to attorney and NBC 7 legal analyst Dan Eaton.

“What you might see in these competing recall petitions, is a race to the city clerk's office followed by a race to the city courthouse,” Eaton said.

The possible rush comes from San Diego's municipal code, which states that the process of recalling the mayor can start if no petition has been filed within the last 6 months, possibly giving the first filer the right to move forward.

Eaton says the law is not completely clear as to whether two recall efforts can occur at the same time.

“Whether that's acceptable legally, that's a question that ultimately may have to be resolved by the courts,” he explained.

Former California GOP Chairman Ron Nehring wants to see ramped-up pressure on Filner to resign instead of the long, complex process of recall.

"I think that based upon where were are now, for the good of the city we need a pathway that gets Mayor Filner out of office as quickly as possible and lets the voters come forward and elect a new mayor," Nehring.

It will be at least three weeks before people can sign petitions.

The city council needs to change the law to make parts of the recall process legal, changes which could be vetoed by the mayor.

If all necessary signatures are gathered within 30 to 60 days -- some say there's a slim chance of it happening -- a decision would follow.

The City Attorney's office is still researching how multiple recalls should be handled under the city charter.

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